After seven years of parenting I had become complacent in thinking there are very few things left that embarrass me. After giving birth three times loads of people have seen all parts of me, years of breastfeeding mean most people in the general vicinity have seen my boobs , I’ve applauded public pee’ing, I’ve sat and cringed while one of the children repeated something I said about a person in front of that person. The list goes on and as a result not a lot phases me any more or so I thought, until, yesterday.
What’s worse this was all my own doing, I have nobody to blame but myself.
My eldest daughter was 7 at the start of the month. Parties are very important to this 7 year old. Between one thing and another the party only took place yesterday. It was a pool party. To clarify I live in cold wet Dublin not Florida. I don’t know what I was thinking. I saw the sign in the local pool offering pool parties, the cost was reasonable………I don’t know what I was thinking. From the beginning my husband said he wanted nothing to do with this. I ignored him. I also ignored the logistics of throwing a pool party for a load of 7 year olds. I booked it and gave it no more thought. Then I woke up yesterday morning and realised a load of seven year olds can’t get into a pool on their own. The husband realised this weeks ago. I did not allow my brain to go through with this train of thought.
Yesterday morning dawned, kids very excited about the party. The panic was setting in . I rang the pool, yes there would be lifeguards there, no they would not be in the pool, yes the childs, whose party it is, parents should get in the pool. GULP.
I assessed the swimwear situation. My swimwear had been hiding in a drawer since last summer. Guess what has happened since last summer though? All the food has been eaten. By me. Swim gear snugly in place we set of to the pool. I was calmed by the thoughts that the parents would drop the kids and leave and that it would be ok. I had even prepared an answer for when one of the kids asked me was I having another baby. I was going to use it as an opportunity to teach the kids on the dangers of takeaway food. The party would be entertaining and a learning experience. All sorted.
We got to the pool, the guests arrived, the kids were all excited. I chatted away to the parents and then realised they were all heading to the viewing area and not BACK TO THEIR CARS. The kids lined up ready to get into the pool, there was nothing left to do but take my clothes off, slap on the always attractive swim hat and bring them out. I peeked out. TEN of the parents had decided to stay and watch. This is a pool with only a pool, no fancy coffee shops , just a line of seats facing the pool. Nobody had a book or a newspaper, nobody took out a phone to scroll though, nobody was going to be that parent who is asked to put phone away in company of children in swimwear ( I have also been that parent by the way, was mortifying). There were only two parents who were going to be mortified this day. Me and the husband. He came out of the changing room and met me and the 15 kids in the pool. He was smiling away, to anybody else, it looked like he was fine. I knew though. I knew the look on his face meant he wanted to drown me.
“You ok?” I whispered to him whilst trying to convey how sorry I was I had gotten us into this situation.
He just grinned back inanely at me through gritted teeth.
He wisely thought an argument whilst half naked in front of the dressed parents of our daughters friends wasn’t the best move.
So we spent an hour lifting the kids on and off a water slide with our audience of ten dressed parents. Number of times my boob escaped from crappy too small swimwear: two. Could have been worse and nobody noticed. There was a giant clock, the minutes felt like hours and we splashed and splashed away. The kids loved it. The clock ticked around to the hour mark and the party was over. Not too bad after all, I thought to myself as I ever so gracefully got out of the pool on the side with no steps. Soooooo gracefully my swim shorts didn’t slip down and expose my big arse. Swear.
Into the changing room and the parents came in to help their kids get changed. I can’t blame them. I would do the same. The husband had escaped to the mens changing room in solitude, taking one of the swim bags with him. I stood there dripping wet with two towels for me and three kids. Soldered on, fielded questions from inquisitive kids about my bra, my boobs, where my pants were and on and on all whilst half-dressed while all the other parents were dressed. Got through it, got dressed, dispensed goodie bags and came home. Apologized profusely to the husband, received the praise and thanks from the 7 year old who had the “best party ever”. I apologised to the husband many many times and we agreed to just not discuss the horror that was the pool party ever again.
I am sharing this as a warning to other parents who may get sucked into thinking a party at the local pool is an affordable and fun party venue for their child. Think long and hard about the logistics of such an event then think again.